Reprinted with permission from the Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation
By Betsy Burke Parker
To say Margaret Worrall is tightly tied to the Maryland Hunt Cup is understatement.
Born on Hunt Cup day – literally – in 1942, Margaret Worrall has attended the world’s best-known timber stake every year since – literally, railside at Glyndon’s Worthington Farms in a variety of capacities.
She was there as an infant in the arms of parents Henry Defries and Mary Sappington, as a student at Hereford High, as a young married with husband Doug, as winning owner – Von Csadek in 1992 and as mother of winning jock Patrick.
For some 50 years she’s reported the Hunt Cup action from the trenches as writer for the Maryland Horse, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, the Chronicle of the Horse and more.
But she's perhaps best-known as Hunt Cup historian, research writer of “100 Runnings of the Maryland Hunt Cup” published in 1997 and “The Maryland Hunt Cup: Celebrating 125 Years” last year.
Conservation of rural and agricultural land has long been part of Margaret Worrall’s makeup.
IN THE 1970s, she and Doug were among the first in Baltimore County to put their Butler farm, Scanden, in the Maryland Environmental Trust.
From 1991 through 1995, Margaret worked full time as executive director of the Valleys Planning Council and she served 10 years on the Baltimore County Board of Appeals.
More recently, she served as an MET representative on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she long lived in Cambridge.
The Worralls recently moved back to Monkton.
Margaret Worrall suffered a stroke last October.
She’s slowly progressing, according to husband Doug, but she cannot speak with clarity so she was not directly interviewed for this profile story.
Son Patrick says she’s stable and slowly improving, though temporarily paralyzed on her right side and has difficulty forming words and communicating.
She’s working with a speech therapist.
Doug says the stroke – which “came out of nowhere one morning, with no risk factors or pre-disposition for it,” hit the left side of her brain, impacting the right side of her body.
“She happens to be one of my very favorite people,” Doug deadpans, “so we’re working really hard to come back from this.”
Doug says Margaret was at the 124th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup Saturday, a special guest of the committee watching from railside in a comfortable, accessible van.